Rural Stakeholders Comment on New Office of Rural Development

Posted by on January 19, 2021



January 19, 2021   Rural Stakeholders Comment on New Office of Rural Development   Marquette County – Today Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the creation of the Office of Rural Development, which will be housed under the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). MDARD is under the leadership of Upper Peninsula native and former legislator, Gary McDowell. Rural economic developers and their partners from across the state have advocated for such a move, bringing a similar concept forward in 2020 for consideration. The Governor’s actions today reinforces her support for our rural communities and acknowledges their uniqueness.   “We are extremely excited by today’s announcement of an Office of Rural Development in Michigan,” commented Lake Superior Community Partnership CEO, Amy Clickner. “This is the time for rural Michigan to shine with endless economic opportunities within reach. The pandemic has shed the light on our ability to work from where we choose to live, and in the case of rural, that means regions that provide a clean, safe environment with a low risk of natural disaster and incredible quality of life. We are grateful to Governor Whitmer for raising up rural in Michigan.”   “This is a big deal for the Upper Peninsula and rural Michigan,” said Invest UP CEO, Marty Fittante. “We are grateful to Governor Whitmer for her leadership in embracing this idea. Embedding an Office that focuses on rural issues and opportunities within the Administration is forward-thinking, and makes Michigan a national leader on advancing rural prosperity. The Governor’s timing in creating the Office is especially opportune, as the pandemic, despite all its challenges, has also brought opportunity with it for the Upper Peninsula. But there are challenges that stand in the way. So, the focus and resources that come through this Office can be a difference-maker. That is why we look forward to working with the U.P. legislative delegation to ensure the Office has the necessary resources to help the U.P. and rural Michigan prosper.”   # # # About the Lake Superior Community Partnership: The Lake Superior Community Partnership (LSCP) is Marquette County’s leading resource for economic development, providing a wide variety of affordable and effective development services.  The LSCP helps its partners make the connections that matter – between businesses, organizations, leaders and legislators, and provides a powerful legislative voice for programs and policies that strengthen the regional economy.  More information on the Lake Superior Community Partnership can be found at   About Invest UP: Invest UP is a privately-funded non-profit organization that provides proactive leadership to achieve economic prosperity across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Invest UP measures success through its four strategic objectives: Promoting the Upper Peninsula of Michigan; Talent Enhancement; Business Advancement; and Business Attraction. To learn more about Invest UP, visit: